Lukasz Smacki, CEO, UnicornlyLukasz Smacki, CEO
“A jack of all trades is a master of none, but often times better than a master of one,” is applicable to the legal profession. An orator in the courtroom, at the end of the day, the lawyer is a businessman, who still needs to make sense of his clientele and the time he has billed them for. The irony is palpable, as a good lawyer is only as successful as his practice; the best of support is required if he is to work his skills in the courtroom and talk his turnover in the boardroom. This support would come in the form of a good legal tech product, properly put together and connected into the practice, while being secure, scalable, and capable of handling vast terabytes of disparate data. It should be both easy to use, and comprehensive enough to tweak so that it can meet the specific needs of every kind of practice. Unicornly—a major technology partner to legal departments— went by a checklist of requirements to develop custom software. This considered with nearly a decade’s worth of specialized experience in delivering practice management software, all of which purpose-built for legal practices, really helps boost the stock this company has.


Humble yet Strategic Beginnings

After graduating with a degree in computer science in 2007, Lukasz Smacki started on his PhD. For the next several years, Smacki continued working on an artificial intelligence solution for criminal identification. With the support of the Central Forensic Laboratory of the Polish Police, he was building an AI system for personal identification based on latent lip prints left on cups, glasses and other objects found at crime scenes. At the same time, he started his first company called Cybertec that was providing technology and cybersecurity consulting services. The company’s first client happened to be a law firm, and from one reference to another, most of their clients ended up being law firms. Backed by a strong engineering background and capability, Unicornly slowly began to take shape. Now Unicornly provides technology consulting and software development services to law firms, legal departments and enterprises all over the world.

"We help law firms accelerate growth by providing business analytics and business intelligence solutions that are unique to a company and therefore give it a strong competitive advantage"

Defining the Problem and Driving Solutions

The company observed several points of concern that they could streamline with their solutions and help bring about many digits worth of profitability. They broke it down, primarily into two. The first being legacy software - law firms or legal departments, with very old software stacks, that are as old as 20 years.

One of the projects developed by our team is a practice management software that is currently used by thousands of lawyers. It is our main accomplishment because this project required in-depth knowledge about legal industry and strong experience in building software that is secure and able to handle large volumes of information


This creates problems because firms do not have up to date solutions that are GDPR-compilant and prepared for the way lawyers work today, and so many law firms struggle with the need to update their systems to newer ones and move them to the cloud, so they can work from home, at client offices, while travelling and such. Secondly, the solutions on the market right now are not addressing many of the specific needs of law firms. All of this pointed to the fact that if the law firm is to scale in size, then software simply cannot handle the change in volume. And because every firm would operate differently, on various specializations, the software on the market is often not flexible enough to accommodate their unique needs, out of the box.

“We help law firms accelerate growth by providing business analytics and business intelligence solutions that are unique to a company and therefore give it a strong competitive advantage.” says Smacki. The software can automate operations that are defined by the client, saving both time and money. A modern product that is well designed and easy to use, that is the need of the hour, while itself being simple enough to implement. This is in stark contrast to the main problem with most of the law firms, wherein software products are overly-complex, cluttered and unintuitive which negatively impacts staff productivity and business growth.

Unicornly provides feature-rich well-designed solutions, ranging from a tailor-made practice managment software to AI-powered business intelligence and blockchain-based smart contracts. Unicornly can also provide solutions to automate creation of documents, sign documents with e-signatures and make the documents more secure for sharing among employees. The solution provider can automate time recording and invoicing using AI and provide business dashboards to track important KPIs like cash flow, customer satisfaction and profitability. Unicornly can also streamline communication with clients via secured web and mobile client portals.

Broadly speaking, the company offers three core services in addition to their solutions, starting with their technological consulting role. Unicornly provides audits of software systems used by the client and performs workshops to define new solutions and tools. They can also help augment a homegrown team, delivering the services of outside experts, like UI/ UX designers or software developers, or engineers, who can join the in-house team and work with this team remotely. Finally, the company provides excellent project outsourcing capabilities, which can then be relied on for developing custom software or solutions for their clients, completely from drafting specifications, to design, to development, testing, deployment and maintenance of the software.
Precise Product Development Methodology

Unicornly first creates a ballpark estimate of the cost of the new legal practice management tool or product, and then proceeds to give clients more specific information about its cost toward the right investment based on business gains. Subsequently, they arrange a product discovery workshop in their office and invite clients to meet the project team. The workshop’s goal is to define project scope, create first designs, and break it down into accurate estimate numbers. The result is a product backlog with all the product features prioritized from the most to the least important and divided into releases. The software development process is based on agile approach and scrum methodology that guarantees fast delivery of high quality software. They also provide full transparency to their customers. Client can take part in the daily meetings via Skype and gets a working demo of the software after each 2-week sprint. Team members also track time on regular basis so the client has live view over work progress and budget utilization.

The product functionality is only as good as its applicability. For one Unicornly customer, their challenge was too many clients calling the lawyer too often to ask about their case status. This for a law firm, taking a lot of time from the company to answer all those questions, was quite wasteful and annoying. Unicornly created a client portal for their customer so that the clients can access information on their own from any place at any time and get notifications about their case if anything changes. The company noticed that as a result of this, clients stopped calling as often and their level of satisfaction increased. Other Unicornly customer noticed that his employees spend a lot of unbilled time writing emails and talking on the phone. Unicornly created a solution for them that automatically tracks the time spent by the lawyer on each of their client interaction. They increased this particular company’s profits by about 30 per cent because this was the time that went untracked before.

“One of the projects developed by our team is a practice management software that is currently used by thousands of lawyers. It is our main accomplishment because this project required in-depth knowledge about legal industry and strong experience in building software that is secure and able to handle large volumes of information.” states Smacki.

Moving Beyond the Legal Practice

For Unicornly, sustaining success starts with striving to top themselves. Today, the company is investing more into their AI and blockchain teams, and would like to start exploring these services using the most up to date technologies. Since Unicornly is mostly working with law firms and legal departments, they would like to open themselves up to larger enterprises as well that have legal operations already present. Unicornly is interested in automating legal operations using AI and smart contracts for the future, leading the way to truly innovative software solutions. And while innovation is no longer a buzzword in the legal industry, more and more law firms have a demand for the most versatile tools that address their unique needs, which will continue to be catered by Unicornly. In breaking the mould on what legal tech solutions are, the company continues to cater to the needs of lawyers, allowing them to keep doing what they do best—to keep going and never give up, until he wants to, or until he gets what he wants.
- Joe Phillip
    July 02, 2019